Combating Dry Skin in a Drying Environment

Naturally dry skin is hard to manage under the best of circumstances. Expose that naturally dry skin to the triggers that will dry out any skin and suddenly it becomes a whole lot harder. Even skin that isn’t dry can flake, itch, scale and crack when subjected to certain conditions. The key to managing dry skin is understanding what causes it and then taking measures to combat and prevent it.

Genetics, Ceramides and Dry Skin

Naturally dry skin is hard to manage under the best of circumstances.

One thing that few people realize is that genetics plays a big role in dry skin. Researchers in Scotland (at the University of Dundee) have recently discovered that there are certain genes that are in control of a protein called filaggrin. Filaggrin assists in the formation and hydration of the skin’s barrier and when the responsible gene is mutated it causes skin conditions that include dry skin and eczema. Eczema is a condition in which the skin becomes itchy, dry, thick and scaly. It is likely that for people who have had dry skin their entire life, or if dry skin seems to run in their family they have this genetic disorder. If you suffer from this you may notice that the skin around your eyes looks tired and aged. Lipids and ceramides are essential to build and reinforce the skin barrier.

MDSUN Med-Eye Complex Cream contains these important ingredients that help to deeply hydrate the eye area. As the website indicates:

Ceramides are a family of waxy lipid molecules found naturally in the skin and are present in all four layers of the epidermis. They’re a type of oily wax that holds skin cells together, creating a protective barrier in the top layer of skin. Although your skin naturally generates its own ceramides, environmental factors and aging may lower this natural production. Boosting your skin’s levels with a topical ceramide cream is beneficial for the repair and maintenance of a healthy epidermis. When skin is low in ceramides, it’s prone to redness and dryness.

Phytoceramides are the plant-derived equivalent of ceramides, a lipid that keeps your skin hydrated and plump. Ceramides are found naturally in many foods, especially wheat flour. Sphingolipids, which contain ceramides, are present in large amounts in dairy products, eggs and soybeans. So you can get ceramides from food and don’t really need to take dietary supplements.

There have been a large number of studies of ceramides and how they help the skin. Primarily, these studies focus on how ceramides improve the barrier and water-holding functions of the skin. In a Japanese study on the use of ceramides on the under eye area it was found that after four weeks, participants’ eyelid skin was much more hydrated than before treatment. Another study showed that topical ceramide creams improved the skin barrier.

Soap Can Aggravate Dry Skin

Soap can do a number on skin and make dry skin drier.

Soap can do a number on skin and make dry skin drier. Cleansers that are not designed to retain the moisture in your skin will make your face dry. The same applies to detergents and body washes. If you know that you have a tendency to develop dry skin then only use the mildest of soaps and cleansers and avoid irritants like perfumes and dyes. For your face the Revitalizing Cleanser by MDSUN is a fantastic solution. It is gentle and deeply cleans without disturbing the skin’s natural balance. Its ingredients work to regenerate cells and the botanical oils provide moisture and hydration to your skin.

Hard Water and Dry Skin

Hard water is drying and damaging when you use it on your face and body.

Hard water is drying and damaging when you use it on your face and body. This is because tap water can contain a very high amount of minerals like lead and zinc, which leave a drying film on the skin. According to Dennis Gross, MD, a New York City Dermatologist , these heavy metals turn the natural oils of your skin into a substance that is thick enough to clog your pores. This not only makes conditions like acne and rosacea worse, which are not usually associated with dry skin, but also prevents moisturizers from effectively absorbing into your skin. This can be countered with a good water filtration system or water softener. Adding vitamin C into your skin care routine will assist the breakdown of this coating and allow your skin to function correctly and allow moisturizers to penetrate. MDSUN has a solution for this as well in its Repair Moisturizer :

The latest innovation by Dr. Sun, this ultra-restorative moisturizer contains a revolutionary formula designed to help dramatically minimize visible signs of aging, strengthen skin’s natural protective barrier, and repair damaged skin cells. Clinically-proven DNA repair enzymes help to normalize damaged cell membrane and scavenge free-radicals which lead to premature aging and wrinkling; high-grade vitamin C retextures and brightens the skin; and alpha lipoic acid resurfaces and regenerates other antioxidants in skin cells.

Other factors encouraging dryness include indoor air, especially in the winter, when forced heat lowers the humidity in homes and offices. Cold winter air or high heat with windy conditions can both have an adverse impact. So do dry climates and high elevations. Pollution is another factor. In fact, Everyday Health recently published an entire photo gallery of the cities that are the hardest on skin. In browsing through them it is easy to note these trends. For the dryness that is caused by each, you can rest assured that MDSUN has a skincare solution.